Article Details

In: KulturPoetik 2020, Issue 1


Stefan Willer


»Sey geduldig, Du bist schuldig«. Poetische Schuldtransfers bei Clemens Brentano




The article attempts to show how an insight into the working of poetic texts could resonate with theoretical discussions about guilt. In the case of Clemens Brentano (1778–1842) this might prove to be especially pertinent since concepts of guilt and sin play an important part in his lifework. After discussing some aspects of Brentano’s preoccupation with original, hereditary sin, I analyze his poem »Sey geduldig«. It seems to suggest that guilt generates guilt in a genuinely poetic way: not by hereditary transfer, but by proliferation and self-referentiality. Accordingly, guilt is productive inasmuch as it gives rise to its own repetition.